The Serpent’s Shadow – Rick Riordan
3/3 The Kane Chronicles Trilogy
Middle Grade, Mythology
Buddy read with Destiny
Trigger Warnings: Racism, enclosed spaces, death, loss of a loved one (past), injury, body shaming
Publication date: May 1st, 2012
The Red Pyramid | ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | review
The Throne of Fire | ⭐⭐⭐ | review
Character/Terms Guide ⇩
►Carter Kane → 15, Main character, American, darker skin than Sadie, black
►Sadie Kane → 13, Main character, raised in England, only saw dad & twice a year, British accent, lighter skin, dyed hair, blue eyes
►Muffin/Bast → Sadie’s cat, going away present from dad, goddess of protection and cats
►Anubis → 5,000, the god of the dead and the underworld, immortal
►Thoth → God of knowledge, has baboon minions
►Tawaret → hippo, works in a nursing home for gods
►Amos Kane → American accent, C & S’s uncle
►Khufu → Baboon, loves LA Lakers & butter, doesn’t wear pants, only eats foods ending in ‘O’
►Phillip of Macedonia → Albino crocodile, likes bacon, pink eyes
►The Red Lord/Set → Fiery guy
►Zia Rashid → Scribe to the house of life, trained to fight gods
►Desjardins → French guy, forked beard
►Walt → Sadie’s love interest, dying, King Tut is Walt’s great x a lot uncle, charm maker
►Felix → 10, likes penguins
►Jasmine “Jaz” → Cheerleader from Nashville, blonde, very nice, healing magic, good memory
“Well,” I said. “If you need me, I’ll be outside, playing with sharp objects.”
Okay, so I have a few little points on the book before I get into my Sadie spiel which is honestly, most of what I’m talking about in this review
- This entire trilogy talked place over 9 and a bit months, so in less than a year which makes the trilogy as a whole feel very rushed and the character relationships come across as underdeveloped and rushed.
- Sometimes I forget this is middle-grade because the characters hardly ever act their age but, then Anumbis turns up to the school dance and i have to take a time out because that is the most ridiculous thing to ever happen.
- These books definitely feel too long.
- I feel like this series would make more sense as a duology but I get why it wasn’t because middle grade usually are shorter. This either needed to be edited better OR it needed to be a MG duology or a YA trilogy because this just feels so meh.
Let’s Talk About Sadie Kane
So, this sort of explains how I feel about Sadie:
*slight spoilers for book 2*
So spoiler for The Serpent’s Shadow but, basically, we all know the world is gonna end because that seems to be how Riordan works, so Carter is trying to make a plan and he’s being all serious and Sadie is like, yo wtf let’s go have fun for a few hours – sort of like in book 2 when all she wanted was one day to hang out with her friends – so I was wondering where do you fall on this? I’m solely Team Carter (the only time I haven’t been was at the end of book 2 because wtf my boy) bc like, the world is ending??? But, I also understand Sadie’s point. I feel like that’s how I feel about Sadie in general, I understand her and her actions, I just don’t agree with them 🤷♀ 🤷♀
So, that’s how I feel about Sadie in a nutshell but it’s definitely not my main “issue” with her. So, I think my main problem with this fictional 13 year old girl (oh. my. god. 😂) is her personality. She’s rude, abrasive and kind of mean, she calls “mean girls” plastic bags and judges pretty much everyone she meets. It’s not really fun to read about. I think overall, I don’t think she feels like a 13 year old girl. I’m not the best person to talk about this because I didn’t get crushes as a kid, but the way Sadie talks in her head is wild. “you wonderfully naughty boy” like, that’s not a British thing, that’s weird!
Okay, now to my main Sadie point of the review. Sadie really got on my nerves in this book and the romance wa a big part of that, for some reason the romance was really brought to the forefront with this series and it made me unbelievably uncomfortable because the main characters are so young and this is a middle grade series!
So… Walt and Anubis… Sadie’s love interests. All Sadie talks about are Walt’s looks and like??? girl wtf, she’s like maybe I am in love with Walt maybe a bit idk he’s pretty but boring and could be more assertive maybe I don’t like him but damn he’s a looker. I know she’s only 13 and hormones are a thing and she’s a teenager and feelings are hard but oh my god, girl!
And now let’s chat about Anubis, Sadie’s 5000 year old love interest! Does Anubis and Sadie’s flirtation (if you could even call it that, considering they only talk like 3 – 5 times in the whole trilogy) make anyone else uncomfy? Like, the age thing with Edward and Bella was problematic but at least Bella wasn’t 13 and Edward wasn’t the god of the dead who’s been around for thousands of years.
I’m honestly not a fan of the romance in this series! It makes me unbelievable uncomfortable! I don’t like how she treats/talks about Walt, I don’t feel right about her and Anubis. He looks 16, which is obviously too old for a 13 year old anyway, plus he is literal GOD. I also don’t like Carter and Zia (as a couple)! To me, it reads more as an obsession with a pretty girl on Carter’s side and the impression I got from Zia was that she was uncomfortable around him… so, not very romantic in my view.
Honestly, I wish this series had focused purely on the sibling relationship, more like book 1. I’m so used to there being no romance at all in middle grade and now I think I prefer it bc wow, I have nothing positive to say!! Also, knowing this series came out after Percy Jackson is wild to me since everything about that series is levelled up compared to The Kane Chronicles. Weirdly, this series feels like a debut compared to his actual debut series.
“It takes strength and courage to admit the truth.”
So, aside from the uncomfortable romance, this series stopped being funny after book 1. The writing is funny and feels like Riordan but, I’m not laughing, it’s so weird. Like the writing style is familiar because it’s so weird and random but, it’s not actually funny.
The impression I gotfrom all the relationships are really underdeveloped, the book is pretty slow and honestly, I was reading it and I was so ready for it to be over. I’m so disappointed, I wanted to love this series and I really did enjoy book 1 but the others were so underwhelming!
This feels awful to say, but, this series felt like a rushed project that Riordan kind of gave up with after the first book. I read the first book and I was so impressed but then I read book 2 and 3 and now I really get why no one talks about this series!